Aosa vs Aonori: Types of Green Nori Seaweed

Nori is an edible seaweed known as an ingredient used in sushi and is actually available in many varieties such as “Ita Nori (板海苔)” and “Nama Nori (生海苔)”.

Among them, Ita Nori is one of the most common types of Nori shaped like a square and used in onigiri, ramen, sushi rolls, and so on. 

The dry square sheets of Nori, Ita Nori is often made of “Asakusa Nori (アサクサノリ)” or “Susabi Nori (スサビノリ)” in the genus Neopyropia of Bangiaceae of red algae.

But Nori can actually also be made with green algae, and the representative types are “Aonori (青のり)” and “Aosa (アオサ)”.

Aosa vs Aonori: Japanese Green Nori

Since Aonori and Aosa both have a green color and come in the form of powder or flakes, they are very similar in appearance and look just like the same thing.

But how does Aosa differ from Aonori? This article will explain the difference.

Aonori (青のり)


Aonori is typically made of “Suji-Aonori (スジアオノリ)” or “Ao-Aosa (アオアオサ)” in the genus Ulva of Ulvaceae of green algae or “Hitoegusa (ヒトエグサ)” in the genus Monostroma of Monostromataceae of green algae.

In general, Aonori is a powder rather than flakes and smells better than Aosa. Compared to Aosa, Aonori is regarded as a high-grade product and is expensive.

Aonori is usually used as a condiment by sprinkling on dishes such as Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, and Takoyaki.

Aosa (アオサ)

Aosa Nori

Aosa, also called Aosa Nori, is actually the generic name for seaweeds in the genus Ulva of Ulvaceae of green algae.

In general, Aosa is flaky rather than powdery and is inferior in quality (fragrance, taste, and texture) to Aonori. 

Aosa in the form of flakes can often be seen in Japanese potato chips and Furikake rice seasonings, while the raw seaweed is used in miso soup called “Aosa Jiru (あおさ汁)”.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia アオサ, アオノリ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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